Have you ever felt like life kicked you in the stomach and knocked the wind out of you? Author Niki Hardy knows the kind of suffering and loss that makes it hard to breathe. After losing both her mother and sister to cancer, she was diagnosed with rectal cancer. Her book, Breathe Again shares how she learned to find peace and joy when her life was falling apart.
“Life doesn’t have to be pain-free to be full.”
Hardy’s British wit shines through her writing. Her humor causes you to contemplate life in the midst of pain through both laughter and tears.
“I’ve felt deep worry and hope in the same moment, held hands with both peace and panic, and danced with one arm around joy and the other around pain. I’ve discovered that opposing emotions can somehow nestle side by side in the palm of my hand. It’s blown my mind, to be honest, I don’t understand how, but hooked up to IVS and heading off to surgery I’ve felt comforted and alone all in the same moment. As I waited for pathology results I trusted in God fully and yet doubted him deeply.”
Each chapter in part two of the book shares practices that help us navigate life when it feels like it’s falling apart. These practices are shared through the experiences of three people—Hardy’s own journey, others who have endured the devastating effects of cancer, and women in the Bible.
- Choose Brave
- Trust God
- Find Community
- Be Vulnerable
- Embrace the Journey
- Practice Gratitude
- Reach Out
I loved Hardy’s description about what choosing brave looks like:
“The intentional, hard right choice always leads to a fuller, richer life than the one found down the easier path of least resistance.”
Here are some other great quotes I loved:
“Where we are right now is often both the last place we want to be and the very place we need to be to uncover his fullness in our lives.”
“When we trust God, it’s not about us and what we can do, but about him and what he can do; it’s about refusing to hold on and bravely choosing to let go.”
“I learned we must grieve to grow, and grieving the loss of our could-have-beens always helps us breathe.”
I was in a writing group with Niki when she was working on her proposal for this book. It was so fun to be on her launch team and now share Breathe Again with you. This book offers many godly insights and practical tips to encourage not only those facing cancer but anyone who struggles with anxiety and fear.